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19 October 2011 - Media release

Italy first country to officially support INTERPOL-FIFA initiative to fight match-fixing

ROME, Italy – An agreement signed by Italy today makes it the first INTERPOL member country to officially endorse the initiative agreed in May between the world police body and FIFA to target match-fixing and illegal and irregular betting across the globe.

Italy’s Minister of the Interior Roberto Maroni, who witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding at a special ceremony with INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble, said that his country’s support for the INTERPOL-FIFA programme would bring its national expertise in tackling this type of crime to the global arena.

“With international crime syndicates from Southeast Asia to Europe making huge profits from bets placed through legal and illegal networks and their attempts to infiltrate the world of sport, it is clear that there is a need for continued and more effective cooperation, which is why Italy is proud to be the first country to pledge support for the INTERPOL-FIFA initiative,” said Minister Maroni.

Signing the agreement, Director General of Public Security and Chief of Italy’s State Police, Antonio Manganelli, said it "would develop on an international scale the steps Italy has already taken to combat this type of crime such as the creation of the Sports Betting Intelligence Unit and the Investigations Group earlier this year."

INTERPOL and FIFA’s unprecedented 10-year venture will see the creation of a dedicated FIFA Anti-Corruption Training Wing within the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore which will provide a cutting-edge training, education and prevention programme to protect the sport, players and the fans from fraud and corruption.

The agreement between INTERPOL and Italy will further support this initiative through the sharing of mutual experience and expertise, as well as through close liaison in designing training programmes and course material for players, officials, referees, police officers and others.

“Italy’s support for the INTERPOL-FIFA initiative is a clear signal to those who may be involved in match-fixing or illegal gambling, both domestically and internationally, that such crimes will not be tolerated, and I believe today’s agreement with Italy should serve as a model for all INTERPOL member countries,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

“With billions of dollars involved and more importantly the very reputation of sport itself at stake, it is vital that law enforcement presents a united front in not only fighting this type of crime but to ensure that everyone involved from the rank and file official to the star player is given the resources and training to counter the corrupt influences of transnational organized crime,” added the INTERPOL chief.

As part of the agreement Italy will also second a specialized police officer to the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters to further support the INTERPOL-FIFA Anti-Corruption training initiative.